Tamil Nadu Excise Minister V Senthil Balaji, told the assembly that of the total 5,329 retail liquor shops run by Tasmac, the government has decided to shut down 500 shops this year.
The revenue to the Tamil Nadu Government in the 2022-23 financial year through Tasmac (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation), rose to Rs 44,098.56 crore, as against Rs 36,050.65 crore in the previous fiscal.
Tamil Nadu Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise V Senthil Balaji, during the demands for grants for his department on Wednesday told the state assembly that of the total 5,329 retail liquor shops run by Tasmac, the government has decided to shut down 500 shops this year.
Senthil Balaji listed down some of the safety measures taken by the department for the shops such as installing CCTV in ‘vulnerable’ shops, and cash safes at retail liquor vending outlets majorly in towns and panchayats, etc. He also mentioned that there are about 20 de-addiction centres with a view to provide integrated treatment and rehabilitation services for persons addicted to alcohol and drugs.
The government has also sanctioned a financial grant of Rs 5 crore to rehabilitate the erstwhile prohibition offenders (who were into illicit liquor trade or preparation and sale of arrack) socially and economically. Each identified beneficiary would be getting a grant, up to a maximum of Rs 30,000 to create permanent income generating profession like sheep and milch animals breeding, production of agarbhati, camphor, manufacturing of candles, and paper cups and other such small trades.
He also noted that during the 2022-2023, the revenue earned by the government through special fee on imported foreign liquor was Rs 44.79 crore and the revenue earned by Tasmac from service charge alone was Rs 12.23 lakh.
Minister Balaji claimed that there were no deaths related to liquor last year and announced an increase of Rs 1,100, Rs 930 and Rs 840 monthly salary for 24,318 supervisors, salespersons and assistant salespersons respectively working in retail outlets.
PMK leader Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, who has been at the forefront demanding closure of liquor shops in the state, took to Twitter and shared the Tasmac revenue details and noted ‘Tamil Nadu is growing’ taking a jibe at how the revenue to the government from Tasmac has increased from previous year.
He further asked whether to feel amazed or disgusted seeing the figures.